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[spes-uh-fahy] /ˈspɛs əˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), specified, specifying.
to mention or name specifically or definitely; state in detail:
He did not specify the amount needed.
to give a specific character to.
to set forth as a specification.
to name or state as a condition:
He specified that he be given my power of attorney.
verb (used without object), specified, specifying.
to make a specific mention or statement.
Origin of specify
1250-1300; Middle English specyfyen < Old French specifier < Medieval Latin specificāre. See specific, -fy
Related forms
[spes-uh-fi-key-tiv] /ˈspɛs ə fɪˌkeɪ tɪv/ (Show IPA),
specificatively, adverb
specifier, noun
misspecified, adjective
nonspecified, adjective
prespecify, verb (used with object), prespecified, prespecifying.
respecify, verb, respecified, respecifying.
underspecified, adjective
underspecify, verb (used with object), underspecified, underspecifying.
unspecified, adjective
unspecifying, adjective
1. detail, indicate, enumerate, stipulate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for specified
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The lands embraced in this grant were within the bounds of Virginia, as specified in 1609, but had thus far not been occupied.

    The Colonies 1492-1750 Reuben Gold Thwaites
  • Sometimes, if a child lives a specified time, its life must be spared.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • "Unauthorized indirect use" or reprint under pretext of annotations or criticism (art. 12) was specified as unlawful reproduction.

    Copyright: Its History and Its Law Richard Rogers Bowker
  • “Over there near the lilac hedge,” specified Ellen impatiently.

    The Wall Between Sara Ware Bassett
  • If it is exposed to high-potential hazards, carbon blocks are specified instead of copper.

British Dictionary definitions for specified


verb (transitive; may take a clause as object) -fies, -fying, -fied
to refer to or state specifically
to state as a condition
to state or include in the specification of
Derived Forms
specificative (ˈspɛsɪfɪˌkeɪtɪv) adjective
specifier, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Medieval Latin specificāre to describe
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for specified



c.1300, from Old French specifier (13c.), from Late Latin specificare "mention particularly," from specifus (see specific). Related: Specified; specifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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